BY ROBERT MORALES
Last Thursday, some residential and commercial Windstream DSL customers lost their “high-speedâ€ connection to the internet. The Advocate lost its internet connectivity on Friday.
While the strong thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon didnâ€™t knock out the Advocateâ€™s connection, if it had, it would have spelled disaster on deadline day. One of the two modems in the office was apparently sizzled by a power surge.
Our office didnâ€™t have internet access Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which are still working days for us. We did have internet connectivity on Monday on the one working modem.
Like most commercial internet providers, Windstream insisted that we sign a two-year contract, which we did. Our contract expires in September.
We spoke with other business owners and others who lost their home internet connection last Thursday. One business, the owner of a restaurant, told us he was unable to process any credit card or debit transactions over the weekend because of the outage. One of the taxing entities we spoke with on Monday was able to get its service back on Monday, but the service was unstable.
That may be the case for some customers, but other customers did not have internet service until Monday, like the Advocate.
We have previously commented on Windstreamâ€™s ineptitude to handle reliable DSL service for its customers. The company has had years to fix whatever problems with its system it has to provide what is a basic commodity in larger cities.
The company has shown total disdain and inability to service its customers. Whatâ€™s worse is that the company doesnâ€™t feel the need to issue any kind of an alert or a news release to help us at least make some sense of whatâ€™s going on during a lengthy outage.
We must give credit to a customer service representative we spoke with almost a year ago. More than likely, that representative should have never revealed what she told us, but it speaks volumes about the company. She said that the companyâ€™s internet infrastructure was seriously flawed and behind schedule, especially for the smaller rural areas, such as Van Horn. She readily admitted that it would be years before the company could catch up to meet the demand.
However, she also said that the company was more interested in appeasing the areas that it serves in the Permian Basin with its ongoing oil boom than the smaller towns further down the line.
In Van Horn, there are two additional options: Tel-Star Communications, a satellite internet provider, has been offering internet services in town for several years. You can contact local representative Larry Simpson at Office Tech for more information. Also, Delcom Communications has recently added Van Horn as a service area for high-speed internet service. Both advertisements appear in the Advocate.
In no way are we directing this criticism at our local Windstream employees. They are actually victims of a company that has failed to provide the proper infrastructure, and whatâ€™s worse, the company appears to be disconnected from the realities of what is actually taking place in its own Windstream localities. The local employees are always friendly, courteous and they attempt to address whatever is thrown at them.